Industry leaders slam lack of funds for 'appalling' road
SOME of Gladstone's most important industrial players are at loggerheads with the State Government over two of the region's most dangerous intersections.
Last week the Minister for Transport and Main Roads said in Parliament that the upgrade of the Fisherman's Landing (Landing Rd) and Reid Rd intersections on the Gladstone-Mount Larcom Rd were not feasible due to a lack of spare funds.
Gladstone Industry Leadership Group chief executive Kurt Heidecker said the road was in an "appalling state" and did not hold back in his criticism of spending.
"From personal experience the high number of trucks mixed with private cars that use this public road makes it dangerous to drive," Mr Heidecker said.
"Risk assessments often find that for industries on the Gladstone-Mt Larcom Road, the most dangerous part of a worker's day is their drive to work."
Mr Heidecker said funding spent on the road by the government was "plainly inadequate" and suggestions that industry should pay for the upgrade were absurd.
"Governments get hundreds of millions of dollars, soon to be billions of dollars, from royalties and taxes paid by industries located in the Gladstone region."
"The $12million that governments have spent on this critical transport artery in the past three years is plainly inadequate."
The minister said that the project's merit needed to be prioritised against other urgent statewide needs as future funding becomes available.
Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham said there needed to be a shared responsibility between the government and industries that use the road.
"I definitely think we should pro-rata the cost of the upgrade, based on impact," she said.
"It can be done quite fairly based on the size of their project and the amount of traffic they have on the road."
Interestingly, one major user, Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, has already committed $36 million to upgrade a two-kilometre stretch of the Gladstone-Mount Larcom Rd, which is most vital to its workforce.
The upgrade will result in the current two-lane carriageway being upgraded to four lanes along the stretch between Reid Rd and the Anabranch Bridge.
The stretch being upgraded by WICET does not include the Landing Rd intersection.
- There were 10 crashes on the Gladstone-Mt Larcom Rd between 2006 and 2011.
- Since 2009 there have been no reported crashes at the Reid Rd or Landing Rd intersections.
Statistics provided from a Transport and Main Roads representative.